Whether you’re a photographer, Instagram-lover, or just appreciate mighty Mother Nature at her finest, the world is packed with a kaleidoscope of colors. There are so many incredibly colorful places on planet earth that are worthy of being added to your life experiences bucket list, from a river with five colors, through to the world’s largest natural mirror, here are the most colorful places on earth.
1. Rainbow Mountain, Peru
Rainbow Mountain in Peru lies in the Andes in the Cusco region. At over 16,404 feet above sea level, it’s not a climb for the faint hearted — but boy, does it reward you. Rainbow Mountain, otherwise known as the ‘Mountain of Seven Colors’, features stripes of yellows, greens, purples, browns, and reds. The colorful stripes formed naturally over millennia due to the process of melting ice mixing with minerals in the soil. As the ice melted, the minerals produced vibrant colors, with rust minerals turning to red, iron sulfide minerals turning to yellow, and goethite turning purple. It’s a technicolor feast for the eyes.
2. Havasupai Falls, United States
Havasu Falls is one of the most colorful destinations in the United States. The falls, which are located inside the Grand Canyon, have an incredible turquoise color and create an amazing contrast against the canyon’s contrasting red rock. The falls lie on the land of the Havasupai Indians who have lived there for centuries.
3. Cano Cristales, Colombia
Another South American favorite is the incredible Caño Cristales, a Colombian river located in Serrania de la Macarena. The river is also known as the ‘river of five colors’ as the water is made up of reds, black, blues, greens, and yellows. For many people, Caño Cristales is the most spectacular natural wonder in all of Colombia. The red coloring in the water is created by a plant called the Macarenia Clavigera, which grows in the riverbed. The river’s other colors come from green algae, yellow sand, and black rocks. The river becomes colorful from July through November, when the Macarenia Clavigera is in full bloom.
4. Lavender Fields, France
Provence, in the south of France, is known for its stunning lavender fields, with hues of purple going as far as the eye can see. The lavender blooms from the months of June to August in parts of Provence such as the Luberon, the Mont-Ventoux, Sault, and Valréas. Hire a bike and explore the stunning, purple fields.
5. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral system — and with over 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands, it’s one of the most colorful places on earth in terms of its size. The reef is teeming with coral, tropical fish, and crystalline waters. You can explore the reef’s beauty by snorkeling, scuba diving or sailing in a glass-bottomed boat.
6. Five Flower Lake, China
The Five Flower Lake is a stunning body of water located in the Jiuzhaigou National Park in China. The lake is made up of several different colors, including yellow, emerald green, and turquoise. The lake is unusual because there is always water present, whereas surrounding lakes often dry out during the summer drought. This combined with its unusual colored waters has lead locals to believe the Five Flower lake has special powers. Science, however, says that the water contains calcium carbonate and multicolored hydrophytes, which cause the change in the water’s color. Nonetheless, it’ a completely magical vista.
7. Morning Glory Pool, United States
The stunning Morning Glory Pool, found in Yellowstone National Park, is a brightly-colored hot spring with a yellow rim that contrasts to the blue waters. The bacteria that live in the water are what causes the unusual color formation. The pool is a truly stunning sight, be sure to add it to your US bucket list!
8. Positano, Italy
The array of houses that line the cliff face of Positano in Italy make it one of the most colorful places on earth. Positano is a truly stunning vacation destination, with many opting to go there for their honeymoon. The Positano houses appear in a range of deep red colors through to pastels and bright oranges. Bougainvillea-covered houses line its narrow streets, and there is the azure Tyrrhenian Sea as a backdrop.
9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
At sunrise and sunset, the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia become an incredible spectacle and reflect the sky’s colors. It’s the world’s largest salt flats and therefore the world’s largest natural mirror. The flats were formed as a result of thousands of years of transformations in prehistoric lakes and are located a whopping 11,811 feet above sea level. It’s one of the most picturesque destinations in South America.
10. Keukenhof, Netherlands
During Tulip season in the Netherlands, the fields of the Keukenhof are covered with miles upon miles of red, pink, purple, orange and yellow bulbs. The season runs from the end of March through to the beginning of May, and there are over seven million tulips in bloom. It’s a phenomenal sight and one of the most colorful places on earth.